Pretty entertaining game. Miami is one of the only teams who can’t take advantage of getting so many wide open 3s against us.
As expected, good PJ last night. He’s improved his ratio of good games to clunkers from about 1 every 5 games to about 1 every 1.5 games, so its growth. I finally noticed last night, and Oglesby pointed out too, the reason his shooting is inconsistent is he’s a set shooter who can only shoot, and in no other manner, when he has a perfectly clear platform.
He can’t shoot if being rushed, or having to step back, or escape dribble, or if he’s a little off balance for whatever reason. At the end of the game when he was missing everything was because of all that, while at the beginning he had a clear runway to launch every time. Should’ve drove hard on those last two 3s. But did keep us in it overall, so good game.
I understand Cliff going with Nick because he was playing great, but guys get tired, especially guarding someone like Bam. If Cliff is insistent we have a 2 headed monster rather than a defined starter/bench hierarchy, then it should be no problem to tag them in and out to get rest and keep them fresh.
But he’s let Mark rot on the bench for like 4 of the last 5 games. Don’t know if this is that “hard” Van Gundy/Popovich coaching style, but jerking players around too much can lead to resentment and a less close locker room over time.
Young guys named Bryce and Nick looked solid. All the other young guys did not. Hopefully Bryce hitting a couple shots brings his confidence back, as he has good size to be a productive player if he wants it.
Actually proud of NSJ, he earned chance to play the closing role, and most of the 4th quarter. Hustling, playing d, playing smart - there was no chance he was taking shots from PJ or Melo, but he did hit a big clutch 3. Gaining that trust from Cliff will at least give him a few game trial run of a bench role, hope he’s able to maximize it and prove he’s a gamer.
Of course the elephant in the room. Does Melo complain a lot, yes. Should he tone it down some, yes. But it’s bordering…no not bordering, it’s become disrespectful the treatment he gets across the league. Bumps and tugs that even non stars get called for them is always overlooked when it happens to Melo. Like getting tripped over on the sideline before halftime, or one shot he was spinning and got grabbed on a turnaround, or when Highsmith smacked Melo’s arm on a pass in the 2nd half and the refs just stare at him blankly.
Or the worst one, I just remembered. We were inbounding the ball, Highsmith gets his arms tangled in Melo, who simply lifts his arms to move towards the ball. Highsmith flails, but it’s not like its major contact or anything. Most times it’s a play on, but for some reason, the all star, at home, gets an offensive foul called at him for some role player. That’s the point the disrespect became so blatantly apparent.
Jimmy will always get calls, but the way any contact on him (or even perceived contact) is interpreted to be the defense’s fault, while our guys can get hooked and slung over the court, if I’m Cliff I’m taking the fine for my guys. It needs to be called out.
Oglesby (he’s turning out to be the best studio analyst we’ve had) did mention a difference, Butler seeks contact, but in a controlled way so he can’t get called for an offensive foul. Whereas Melo “receives” contact rather than initiating it, leaving it up to the discretion of the refs to not call it. He also mentions how Miami is coached to basically foul every possession, so the refs are almost conditioned not to call contact, even though they get the whistle on the other end.